iPhone maker Foxconn has rejected reports that suggested it was mulling to reopen a significant portion of its Chinese production force this month even as China continues to reel under the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus. Reacting to a report, Foxconn made the claims in a statement to the Taipei stock exchange, Apple Insider reported on Wednesday.
The contract manufacturer did not correct the publication, nor did it provide additional information on the current status of its production capabilities, the report added. Foxconn would keep its factories shut for at least another week in the wake of the deadly coronavirus outbreak in the country, the media reported in the first week of this month. This comes at a time when smartphone giants like Apple and Samsung have shut their offices and stores in the country following the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak.
Meanwhile, Foxconn Industrial Internet (Fii) has succeeded in its trial production of masks and is currently applying for product certification amid the coronavirus outbreak. Fii made an announcement last week that the masks will be first used to protect some 1 million Foxconn employees from infection before being provided to others outside the company, the Xinhua news agency had reported.
The company has built production lines to make masks in Shenzhen's Hualong plant and expects to reach a daily capacity of 2 million by the end of February. It is pertinent to note that the sales of smartphones in China may decline 20 percent in the first quarter (Q1) of 2020, according to a report by Counterpoint Research.
While companies like Huawei, OPPO and Vivo could suffer the most due to this decline, the impact may be limited on smartphone makers like Xiaomi, OnePlus and Realme "as they are more online-centric and overseas-focused". The novel coronavirus (COVID-19), which originated in China's Wuhan area in December 2019 has impacted social and production activities in the country. China's National Health Commission said that it received reports of 5,090 new confirmed cases and 121 deaths on Thursday from 31 provincial-level regions and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, the Xinhua news agency reported on Thursday.